Complaints linked to issues for disabled passengers
Request ID: FOI-3653-1920
Date published: 23 March 2020
In 2019, how many complaints did you have in relation to issues for disabled passengers?
Could I have these broken down month-by-month.
I would also like a short summary of each complaint.
Our ref: FOI-3653-1920
Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 26 February 2020 asking for information about complaints related to disabled passengers.
Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our Information Access Policy. You asked:
In 2019, how many complaints did you have in relation to issues for disabled passengers? Could I have these broken down month-by-month. I would also like a short summary of each complaint.
We look into all complaints to better understand the needs and requirements of our customers. We want everybody to feel welcome on our services and we’re working hard to make public transport more accessible to all our customers, especially those with accessibility needs.
Complaints are logged under a general ‘accessibility’ keyword rather than whether the complaint was specifically about disability access or made by a disabled passenger.
In the year 2019, there were 8,950 such complaints. However, this data should not be conflated with complaints specifically about disability access. These figures may include complaints from disabled and non-disabled passengers alike, and on a range of issues which may not be related to disabilities - such as in relation to pushchairs or heavy luggage. The only way of breaking down the figures further, to determine which of them specifically reference disability access, would be for us to review each such complaint.
However, given the numbers involved, this could only be achieved at disproportionate cost. Under section 12 of the FOI Act, we are not obliged to respond to a request if it would cost more than £450 to determine whether the information is held, and to then locate, retrieve or extract it from other information. This is calculated at a rate of £25 per hour – equivalent to 18 hours work. Even at an extremely conservative estimate of finding and reviewing one complaint every 2 minutes, to review each of the 8,950 complaints above would take 17,900 minutes, or 298 hours. In practice, any such exercise is likely to take longer still.
To help bring the cost of responding to your request within the £450 limit, you may wish to consider narrowing its scope so that we can more easily locate, retrieve and extract the information you are seeking, bearing in mind the information above. However, note that even responding in relation to a much narrower timeframe (such as a single 4-week reporting period) is likely to breach the threshold, given the numbers involved.
Note that information on accessible travel in London can be found on the TfL website here:
TfL’s Equality and Assistance policies, and future plans, can also be found on our website here:
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.
FOI Case Officer
Transport for London
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